AP

Germany steps up calls to save energy as Russia reduces gas

Jun 15, 2022, 2:25 PM | Updated: Jun 16, 2022, 1:11 pm

FILE - Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, takes part in t...

FILE - Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, takes part in the East German Economic Forum (OWF) in Bad Saarow, Germany, Monday, June 13, 2022. Habeck is stepping up an appeal for the country's residents to save energy after Russia's Gazprom announced significant cuts in natural gas deliveries through a key pipeline. (Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP, File)

(Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP, File)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s vice chancellor is stepping up an appeal for the country’s residents to save energy after Russia’s Gazprom announced significant cuts in natural gas deliveries through a key pipeline.

State-owned Gazprom announced on Tuesday that it was cutting gas flows through the undersea Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany by 40%, then, a day later, announced a further cut that brings the overall reduction to about 60%.

In both cases, it cited a technical problem, saying that Canadian sanctions over the war in Ukraine prevented German partner Siemens Energy from delivering equipment that had been sent for overhaul. The German government rejected that reasoning, saying that maintenance shouldn’t have been an issue until the fall and the Russian decision was a political gambit to sow uncertainty and push up prices.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “is doing what was to be feared from the beginning: He is reducing the volume of gas, not in one go but step by step,” German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said in a video posted by his ministry on Twitter Wednesday night. He pointed to earlier Russian moves to cut supplies to Bulgaria, Denmark and others.

The reduction in gas flows comes as Germany and the rest of Europe try to reduce their dependence on Russian energy imports. Germany, which has Europe’s biggest economy, gets about 35% of its gas to power industry and generate electricity from Russia.

The German gas regulator confirmed on Thursday that gas flows through Nord Stream 1 had fallen to about 40% of capacity. But it said it could not confirm that the reduction was caused by the technical problem Russia cited, the shutdown of a turbine at a gas compressor station.

The Federal Network Agency of Germany said it had no concerns about German gas supplies, saying storage facilities were significantly fuller than in previous years.

The news of the reductions sent short-term natural gas prices sharply higher in Europe. Month-ahead spot prices rose 13% Thursday to 139.10 euros per kilowatt hour, up 40% since Monday.

Habeck, who is also the economy minister, already had launched a campaign for people to save energy last week. After the Gazprom announcements, he hammered home the message in Wednesday night’s video.

“Gas is coming to Europe — we have no supply problem, but the volumes of gas must be acquired on the market and it will get more expensive,” Habeck said. He said the government is prepared, and noted that it has enacted legislation requiring gas storage to be filled.

He lauded the willingness of Germans and business to save energy and store gas.

“Now is the time to do so,” he said. “Every kilowatt hour helps in this situation. It is a situation that is serious, but not a situation that endangers supply security in Germany.”

___

Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

48 minutes ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

19 hours ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

2 days ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

3 days ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

4 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

5 days ago

Germany steps up calls to save energy as Russia reduces gas